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NFL Lines – New England Patriots Visit Miami Dolphins

Posted by Marcello Messina on 9/10/2011 2:10:57 PM

The New England Patriots will visit the Sun Life Stadium to kick off their NFL lines season against the Miami Dolphins.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Live from Sun Life Stadium – FL
Tipoff: 7:00 PM EST Monday, September 12, 2011
Broadcast: ESPN

NFL Lines
New England Patriots -7
Miami Dolphins +7
Total 45.5

The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins will face off in the first Monday Night Football matchup of the 2011 NFL lines season. The Patriots are set at high favorites with -7 to cover, and rightly so given their overwhelming talent compared to the Miami Dolphins.

Over the course of this NFL lines offseason, the Dolphins have made many significant transactions and alterations to their roster that still have not reached their full value or potential.

The most significant roster move(s) that Miami did this July was releasing both starting running backs, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Over the past four NFL lines seasons, the Dolphins had retained Brown and Williams as their dual-threat backfield. This system had worked quite well for Miami for the first three years, leading up to the 2009 season when the Dolphins ranked 4th overall rushing offense.

However, things took an ugly turn 12 months ago when – for the first time since 2006 – they ranked in the lower half of all NFL ground games. Miami’s entire backfield averaged a stigmatic 3.7 yards per carry in 2010 (30th overall), forcing the Dolphins organization to give up on their veteran tailbacks and rejuvenate the position.

Therefore, with their first pick in the 2011 NFL lines Draft, they selected 6’, 230-lbs running back Daniel Thomas. Then to provide some depth at the position, they picked up Reggie Bush this offseason in free agency. Additionally, the Dolphins signed their ex running back Larry Johnson this past week. Although in spite of these three acquisitions, the short-term future for this backfield appears quite unstable, as none of those three tailbacks have had the chance to really absorb the playbook yet.

It will be interesting to see whether the Dolphins will find success in their running this NFL lines Monday against a pretty solid Patriots rushing defense – one that averaged 108 ground yards allowed per game.

Marcello’s Prediction: New England Patriots: 32, Miami Dolphins: 28

NFL Expert Pick: Miami Dolphins +7

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